Galloway anger at Gaza protest sentences

Respect MP George Galloway has led a meeting at the Houses of Parliament to discuss the prison sentences given to the protesters jailed for violence outside the Israeli embassy during Israel's offensive in Gaza.

By Jessica Elgot and Marcus Dysch, March 3, 2010
George Galloway at the Houses of Parliament

George Galloway at the Houses of Parliament

Supporters of the Gaza protesters jailed for violence outside the Israeli embassy held a meeting at Parliament last night calling for their release.

Supporters claimed that the protesters, who threw bottles at police and vandalised a local branch of Starbucks, were victims of a “direct attack on the Muslim community” by the government and police.

At least 22 protesters have now been jailed for between eight months and two-and-a-half years, almost all for public order offences.

Speaking at the meeting, MP George Galloway MP said: “It’s a melancholy fact Israel is a state, it has an embassy and the embassy must be protected. But it’s one thing stopping people getting through the police lines and another pro-actively attacking protesters.”

Stop the War Coalition chairman Andrew Murray said: “This is political justice for a political purpose of the most brazen sort. These sentences are extraordinary for the crimes alleged to have been committed”.

During the meeting, as Mr Galloway discussed alleged Metropolitan Police brutality during the Gaza protests, two Iranian students confronted him over his involvement with Iran, in connection with his regular appearance on Iranian TV channel Press TV.

The two men were removed from the building by the police.

Last updated: 2:58pm, May 24 2010